Last night saw the opening of Glengarry Glen Ross, a thrillingly timed revival of David Mamet’s fabled play (and later a hugely successful and acclaimed movie). In the days following the release of the Paradise Papers and stories of excess and greed, this production could not have arrived at a more perfect time. The play was premiered in 1983 at the National Theatre and in the intervening years has lost none of its bite. In fact, it’s become more prescient and sharper as the veneer and sheen from the “Greed is good” and yuppie culture has faded.
There is nothing to admire or like about this group of men, distrustful of everyone, united by greed, but because of Sam Yates’ incredibly sharp direction you never want to look away. Witty lines fly at a million miles per hour, often the cast are way ahead of you and ultimately you have to give up the chase and enjoy this joyride of a play.
The cast, which is headed by an electrifying Christian Slater, offer up a masterclass in portraying deeply flawed individuals – you wince but they are captivating whenever they speak. The world has changed a lot since the 1980s, but this tale of greed and the pursuit of a buck is as important as ever.
Here’s what people are saying about the show on Twitter:
Glengarry Glen Ross plays at the Playhouse Theatre until 3 February.